Monday 24 September 2012

How much does Food Really Cost?

This is a question that I've spent the last week pondering...

Let me go back to the beginning, Sue (from the Quince Tree) contacted me after I left a comment on the Non-Consumer Advocate blog. We both wanted to try the $4 per day per person Food Stamp Challenge but were grappling with similar to do it! I didn't want to lock the food cupboards & start from scratch but I was interested to know how little I could really live off...(The challenge would give me a daily budget of £4.99, £34.57 per week for us both together).

The answer should be simple, add up what you spend.

But what do you do when you've built up a cupboard and freezer full of food; when you've grown lots of fruit & veg & herbs; when you've always bought in bulk; when you collect windfalls; & when you have lovely neighbours and family who give/trade veggies from their allotments. How do you cost these items?

So I'm intending to see how long I can go without buying non essential food (I will need to buy eggs, milk & bread flour). Like Sue, I buy in bulk & freeze pretty much everything too. Unlike Sue, I lacked the energy to list the contents of my cupboards!

I'm going to try to cost each meal as I go along. Please remember that I buy in bulk so this further reduces the costs.

My final dilemma is Mr TH...should I confess or just see how long it takes him to notice?


Angela said...

I read The Quince Tree earlier today. Your approach seems fine to me - You have to start 'where you are at' - and like you I have food in cupboard and freezer [and I just did my 3-monthly Approved Food Order]
I am going to try to manage on what I have and just buy eggs, milk and some fresh fruit and veg.

No don't tell the family [yet!]

But dont they read your blog? My lot read mine!

blessings x

litlove said...

Well this should be fascinating! I'm convinced you can do it, but I think you should say nothing to Mr TH and see whether he notices or not. Do hope you are feeling better, btw. Looking forward very much to seeing you next week!

Anonymous said...

I am so inspired by the challenge you ans Sue are doing I have joined in - in my own sort of way lol x

Joanne said...

The initial listing of cupboard contents isn't so difficult- I've got that far before. What's harder is keeping track of everything you use and keeping the list updated! There I have failed dismally.

Mrs. Micawber said...

That is a tough one. I think Angela at Tracing Rainbows was pondering this too, a few months back.

Good luck - and I would say no need to tell Mr TH unless he asks. It will be an interesting test to see if he does notice. :)

The Coffee Lady said...

I'm really, really interested in this project, because I do have to cut down our costs as we enter a potentially incredibly lean period. Often, 'frugal' ideas don't take account of the idea that you're already cooking from scratch and already living frugally to start with. I don't have much of a pantry, though, mainly because I don't have much of a space.

Anonymous said...

I tend to do this costing in my head most days just for the hell of it. But yes the stumbling block is that reliance on store cupboard basics. However the other challenge I really enjoy is cooking a three course meal for eight people for under £30 (excluding wine of course). It's why I resent the cost of eating out except of course restaurants have huge overheads.

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